If you're anything like me, you probably have accumulated a ton of books that you wanted to read but they are sitting there, collecting dust. Even if we have all the time in the world, something always pops up that will, once again, place those books on hold. The average book will probably take you 8 hours to finish and you've got a list of books as long as your arm.
What if I were to tell you that you could take one book, read it in 30 minutes, and you do not have to learn how to speed read 🙂 The latest, great solution is getting a summary app that will quickly get your through all that material in record time. There are several summary apps on the market but the one I will write about here is the Instaread Book Summary App.
It's really quite simple. Instaread will find the best books that are worth your time and summarize them for you. To date, there are well over 700 books to choose from and most of them are non-fiction. There are so many topics to choose from including:
I chose to a write review about Instaread because I have been using it for a while and quite have an experience with this app. There are many other similar apps on the market such as Blinkist, }getabstract, and Joosr to name a few.
Some of the other apps I played around with were Blikist,
I downloaded Blinkist and used their free trial but then let it go. It was actually a very good app and it has a bigger book collection compared to Instaread. The only problem I ran into, it kept crashing, so I just deleted it. Don't get me wrong, I have experienced lots of crashes from Instaread as well, but later about that.
Update (May 1st, 2018): I gave Blinkist another try and have been using it for many weeks now. And it was a pleasant experience. You can read Blinkist Review here.
I bought Instaread from Stacksocial deal and have been using it for over 6 months now. It is now available on the iOS store and you get a 7-day free trial to test it out. If you like it, you will be given a subscription on a monthly or yearly basis and you can cancel at any time. Once you have registered into the system, you will have access to all their books and there is no limit to what you read or listen to.
One thing I like about this app is how it looks and feels. It's like walking into your corner bookstore, surrounded by aisles of books upon books. You can grab one, perform a quick scan and then read through it if you wish. The app designs a book cover that is in the form of a cartoon which is really nice.
The app has 4 main panels: Discovery, Library, Search, and Account. So, let's break these panels down and see what each offers:
The Discovery Panel: This is the first panel you will see when you open the app. At the top of the app, there's a slider displaying the most recently added books along with other books. There are 12 topics to choose from: New, Popular, Business & Economics, History, Political & Science, Self-Help, Health & Fitness, Psychology, Medical, Religion, Biographies & Memoirs, Science, and Fiction.
When you find a book you're interested in, simply tap on the cover and either start reading it or add it to your Library Panel for future reading.
The Library Panel: This is the area you store your books in and you can add or delete books whenever you want. There are 2 sections in the library panel. The first section is where you selected and stored your books and the second section houses Complete Audiobooks. This is a new feature of Instaread that the company added because there is a great demand for Complete Audiobooks vs their summary audio feature.
Search: This panel is pretty obvious, you use this panel to find books you are interested in.
Account: In this panel, you manage your account such as changing your subscription plan, add or change your email, get support, etc.
When you want to read a certain book, just tap the cover and start reading, it's that simple. Also, Instaread provides three features - Read, Listen, and Visualize:
Read: This feature provides you with a summary that is in text and broken up into a short series of summaries. You read through the summaries that are bite-sized information. The non-fiction books offer summaries that are broken up into the Overview, the Key Insight, an explanation regarding each key, the important people mentioned in the book, and the author's summary.
Fiction books offer summaries that are slightly different. They are broken up into Summary, Main Characters, Character Analysis, Character's Relationship, Themes, and Author's Style.
Listen: This is the audio version of the written summary content. It's like a mini audiobook that you can enjoy and finish within 15 to 30 minutes. If you use the Audible application, you will be able to purchase many titles of Instaread's summary audiobook through the Audible website. The cost is approximately less than $5 for each title.
For the summary audiobook version, you will have access to listen to any or all of the titles. If you prefer the full version of these audiobooks, you will have to make a purchase to gain access. This feature is very similar to other audio apps such as Audible, Downpour, etc, where you purchase audiobooks through their platforms.
Visualized: This feature is only available for some selected books. It's a flashcard that summarizes the important points of the book. It's really beautiful, you can read very quickly, and it's very easy to understand the visualized information. There is also a mini-infographic that allows you to come back and refresh the information quickly.
There are many features with Instaread that I really like such as a very large collection of excellent books, quality summaries, and their audio version summaries. Audiobooks have become very popular lately because they are not time-consuming. You can read through and summarize a book very quickly when you only have limited time. That said, these apps are not totally up to speed yet, because they do have their bugs.
As I mentioned earlier, It's understandable that sometimes an app's functions are not readily available, but Instaread crashes every single time I open it. It's biggest flaw is its performance which is critical for any application. The reading feature is fine, most of the time, but the biggest problem is the audio feature which has its fair share of bugs. It will cut off and shut down way too often.
To sum it up, I will not spend my money on the full audiobook version in their store. When it comes to audiobooks, Audible is far more superior over Instaread. Hopefully, in the very near future, they will work out their bugs and get their app up and running properly.